Day 249 – Wisdom of Solomon 14; Psalm 59; Proverbs 12:11–15; 1 Corinthians 15:1–34

Wisdom of Solomon 14

1 Again, someone getting ready for a voyage
And about to sail through wild waves
Cries out loud to a piece of wood
More fragile than the ship that carries him.
2 For it was desire for gain that contrived that boat,
And wisdom was the craftsman who built it;
3 But Your providence, O Father, governs its course,
Because You have given it a path in the sea
And a safe track in the waves,
4 Showing that You can save from every danger,
And that even without skill one may embark upon the sea.
5 For You do not will that the works of Your wisdom be useless;
Therefore, men trust their lives even to the smallest piece of wood,
And passing through the waves on a ship
They are brought safely through.
6 For even in the beginning, when arrogant giants perished,
The hope of the world took refuge in a boat,
And piloted by Your hand it left to the world the seed of a family.
7 For the wood was blessed through which righteousness comes.
8 But what was made by human hands itself is accursed,
And so is he who made it—
He because he made it,
And the perishable thing because it was called a god.
9 For equally hateful to God are the ungodly man and his ungodliness.
10 For what was done will be punished along with him who did it.
11 Therefore there shall also be a visitation upon the idols of the nations,
Because, though the wood was part of God’s creation,
It was made into an abomination
And became a stumbling-block for the souls of men
And a trap for the feet of fools.
12 For the invention of idols was the beginning of fornication,
And the conception of them the corruption of life,
13 For neither were they from the beginning
Nor shall they be forever.
14 For by the vainglory of mankind they entered the world,
And therefore their speedy end has been planned.
15 For a father consumed with untimely grief
When his child was soon taken from him
Made an image of the once-dead human being
And honored him now as a god,
And handed down to those under him secret mysteries and initiations.
16 Then the ungodly custom, strengthened by time, was kept as a law,
And at the command of tyrants carved images were worshiped.
17 When men could not honor a tyrant before his face
  Because he lived far away,
They imagined his face from a distance
And made a visible image of the honored king,
That by their zeal they might flatter the one absent as though present.
18 Then the ambition of the craftsman encouraged
Even those who did not know the king to increase their worship.
19 For wishing perhaps to please the one who ruled over him,
He skillfully forced the likeness into a more beautiful form,
20 And the multitude, attracted by the popularity of his work,
Now considered him as an object of worship
Whom a short time before they honored as a man.
21 But this became a trap for their life,
Because men, in bondage either to calamity or to kingly power,
Conferred on stones and wood a name not shared with another.
Idolatry Brings Evil
22 Furthermore, it was not enough for them
To be deceived about the knowledge of God,
But they live in a great conflict of ignorance,
And they call such evils peace.
23 For they either hold child-murdering rites of initiation,
Or celebrate secret mysteries,
Or engage in the frantic revelry of special customs.
24 Moreover, they keep neither life nor marriages pure,
But one either kills another in ambush,
Or one causes another grief when he corrupts his marriage.
25 Everything is mixed together:
Blood and murder, theft and treachery,
Depravity, unfaithfulness, tumult, perjury,
26 Confusion over what is good, ingratitude, corruption of family,
Breakup of marriages, disorder, adultery, and debauchery.
27 For the worship of idols not to be named
Is the beginning, cause, and end of every evil.
28 For either they are driven to a frenzy in their celebrations,
Or prophesy lies,
Or live unrighteously, or readily swear falsely;
29 For since they trust in lifeless idols,
They swear with wrong motives and expect to suffer no harm.
30 But justice will catch up with them on two counts:
Because they thought wrongly about God in their devotion to idols,
And by treating holiness with contempt
They swore unjustly in deceit.
31 For it is not the power of making oaths,
But the punishment of those who sin
That always prosecutes the transgression of the unrighteous.
Psalm 59

1 For the End; for things yet to be changed; for a pillar inscription; by David; for teaching,
2 when he burned Mesopotamia of Syria, and Syrian Soba, and Joab returned and struck twelve thousand in the Valley of Salt.
3 O God, You drove us off and destroyed us;
You were angry, and had mercy on us.
4 You made the earth quake, and You troubled it;
Repair its ruins, for it was shaken.
5 You showed Your people difficult things;
You made us drink the wine of bewilderment.
6 You gave a sign to those who fear You,
So they may flee from the face of the bow.
7 That Your beloved may be rescued,
Save with Your right hand, and hear me.
8 God spoke in His holy place:
I will greatly rejoice, and divide Shechem,
And I will measure out the valley of the tabernacles.
9 Gilead is mine, and Manasseh is mine,
And Ephraim is the strength of my head;
Judah is my king.
10 Moab is the cauldron of my hope;
Over Edom I will extend my shoe;
Foreign tribes were subjected to me.
11 Who will bring me into a fortified city?
Who will lead me as far as Edom?
12 Will not You, O God, who drove us away?
And will not You, O God, go out with our armies?
13 Give us help from affliction,
For the salvation of man is useless.
14 But in God we shall work power,
And He will utterly scorn those who afflict us.

Proverbs 12:11–15

11 He who works his own land will be satisfied with bread,
But those who pursue vain things are in need of discernment.
12 He who is gladdened by wines in passing his time
Shall leave dishonor in his own strongholds.
13 The desires of the ungodly are evil,
But the roots of the godly are in strongholds.
14 By the sin of his lips a sinner falls into snares,
But a righteous man escapes from them.
15 He whose looks are gentle will show mercy,
But he who contends in the gates will afflict souls.
1 Corinthians 15:1–34

1 Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand,
2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.
3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,
5 and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve.
6 After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep.
7 After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles.
8 Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.
9 For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
11 Therefore, whether it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.
The Risen Christ, Our Hope
(cf. 1 Thess. 4:13–18)
12 Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?
  13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen.
14 And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty.
15 Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up—if in fact the dead do not rise.
16 For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen.
17 And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins!
18 Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.
19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.
The Last Enemy Destroyed
20 But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
21 For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead.
22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.
23 But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming.
24 Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power.
25 For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet.
26 The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.
27 For “He has put all things under His feet.” But when He says “all things are put under Him,” it is evident that He who put all things under Him is excepted.
28 Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.
Effects of Denying the Resurrection
29 Otherwise, what will they do who are baptized for the dead, if the dead do not rise at all? Why then are they baptized for the dead?
30 And why do we stand in jeopardy every hour?
31 I affirm, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.
32 If, in the manner of men, I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantage is it to me? If the dead do not rise, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!”
33 Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.”
34 Awake to righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame.

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